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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Nigeria surpasses South Africa as Africa’s biggest user of Opera Mini

Remmy Nweke

The Norway-based software company Opera has proclaimed that Nigeria has surpassed South Africa as the biggest continental user of Opera Mini, a mobile browser application.

Communications Manager, Opera Software, Zara Lauder, made this revelation on Tuesday, saying that Nigeria has literally unseated South Africa as the country in Africa with the highest number of users on the Opera Mini mobile browser.

According to the latest State of the Mobile Web report issued by Opera Software, Tuesday and made available to ITRealms Online, Nigeria also brushed aside China and South Africa to finish the month of March as the fifth country globally for unique monthly users of Opera Mini, rising from its February position as the seventh.

“Now only Russia, Indonesia, India and Ukraine are ahead of Nigeria in terms of unique monthly users,” Lauder disclosed in the report.

As said by Lauder, hitherto, South Africa has maintained the top spot in Africa and consistently held sixth place globally for the highest number of Opera Mini users, in all but five months since the State of the Mobile Web reports began in April 2008.

Nigeria, the Communications Manager said, debuted in the top 10 list in March 2009 but has been less stable in its position, sometimes dropping off the list entirely.

“Despite earlier jumpy trends, Nigeria has shown a steady climb in the list of top Opera Mini user countries since September 2010: spending two months each at the ninth, eighth and seventh spots before rising in March to fifth – pushing back South Africa to seventh place,” Lauder said.

Pointing out that as at March 2011, Nigeria experienced 143.5 per cent growth in the number of unique Opera Mini users, compared to 67 per cent growth in South Africa.

Lauder explained that during the same period, South Africa showed higher growth in the number of monthly page views and data transfer, accounting to 99.5 per cent and 95.5 per cent and when compared to the Nigeria’s 87.7 per cent and 80.0 per cent in that order.

Excited co-founder, Opera Software, Jon von Tetzchner, said that Nigeria is a country to watch in terms of mobile intake.

“It will be very interesting to see whether its stint as the top African country for Opera Mini turns out to be one-off result or the beginning of a long-term trend for mobile browsing in Africa,” he said.

Opera is the most popular mobile browser in both South Africa and Nigeria, with StatCounter’s March results showing Opera to have 67.5 per cent share of the mobile browser market in South Africa and 87.7 per cent in Nigeria.

“Opera has 71.8 per cent market share for mobile browsing in all of Africa,” he submitted.

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